The Tokyo Olympic showjumping at this year’s Games doesn’t begin until Tuesday (3 August) but it’s already all systems go behind-the-scenes with the horses having landed at the start of the week and the remaining few riders currently brushing off their jet lag.
There’s certainly a buzz of excitement – and plenty of patriotism – in the Tokyo stables. So what’s going on backstage?
Tokyo Olympic showjumping: competitors arrive
British showjumper Holly Smith posted a picture of her returning to the saddle on her Olympic partner Denver on Thursday (29 July), saying he felt “on fine form”.
“The facilities are second to none and we are all very excited to finally be here,” she posted.
Meanwhile Ben Maher posted a picture of the beautiful Explosion W checking out his Team GB branded new surroundings having arrived safely at the Tokyo Olympics.
Ireland’s showjumping representative Cian O’Connor described the facilities at the Olympic Equestrian Park as “fantastic” and his equine partner Kilkenny was clearly enjoying the chance to stretch his legs.
From the Australian camp, Edwina Tops-Alexander and the “super relaxed” Identity Vitseroel were fully kitted out for the Tokyo Olympics in team colours. “I am so happy to finally be here,” she said.
“I will be riding her two times a day this week and late in the evenings to get her used to the evening competitions,” explained Edwina.
From the Olympic Village, the German riders posed for the obligatory Olympic rings snap.
Portugal’s representative Luciana Diniz is providing plenty of updates, including footage of the barn where her partner Vertigo Du Desert is stabled.
Over in the Belgium corner, Pieter Devos’s Tokyo Olympic partner Claire was enjoying some down time.
Meanwhile their team-mates Jerome Guery and Quel Homme De Hus were hard at work. “After a bit of rest to recover from a trouble free trip, it’s time for Quel Homme to get back to work in Tokyo’s climate adaptation mode,” said the Belgian rider.
Enjoying the Japanese grass was Nevados, the ride of Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet.
Dutch showjumper Maikel van der Vleuten’s gelding Beauville Z posed like a supermodel from his luxury accommodation in the Equestrian Park. “Relaxing before all the competitions start. We are ready for this amazing experience to start!” said Maikel.
USA rider Laura Kraut showed how much the lovely Baloutinue was appreciating the Tokyo dirt: “Balou enjoying a little bit of down time in Tokyo!” she posted.
And last but certainly not least, our favourite flying chestnut Chalou, who with rider Emanuele Gaudiano will be Italy’s sole representative, looked happy to be checking out his home for the next 10 days.
Good luck to them all!
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